NEOM’s ENOWA advancing renewable energy and green hydrogen to reduce carbon footprint

Special NEOM’s ENOWA advancing renewable energy and green hydrogen to reduce carbon footprint
Peter Terium, CEO of ENOWA, speaking to Arab News.
Short Url
Updated 09 October 2023

NEOM’s ENOWA advancing renewable energy and green hydrogen to reduce carbon footprint

NEOM’s ENOWA advancing renewable energy and green hydrogen to reduce carbon footprint

RIYADH: NEOM’s water and electricity subsidiary ENOWA is taking a proactive role in decreasing the carbon footprint of the energy-intensive desalination process, according to its CEO.

In an interview with Arab News on the sidelines of the Middle East and North Africa Climate Week forum in Riyadh, Peter Terium said using renewable energy in this industry is a key part of reducing harmful emissions in the region and worldwide.

Terium explained that the process involves managing two key impact components to effectively integrate renewable energy into the process, ensuring it does not heighten the company's carbon footprint.

“The first one, it costs a lot of energy, and if you produce that energy, that electricity from traditional heat sources, it’s not good for your carbon footprint,” Terium said.

He added: “We also need to look at the total water system. A traditional water system anywhere in the world – and Saudi is not an exemption – has huge losses, and leakage globally, at an average of 25 percent, which means if we can reduce the amount of leakage in your water system, I don’t have to desalinate as much.”

During the interview, Terium stressed how NEOM is taking steps to move away from less environmentally friendly wastewater treatment methods, transitioning to more advanced and sustainable practices.

“Wastewater treatment is very important, as it is part of the circular systems,” Terium noted.

He also stated that by 2030, the Kingdom aims to have 50 percent of its energy made from renewable resources.

“In NEOM in ENOWA, by 2030 will have 100 percent of its energy mix coming from renewable resources. So that what we do helps to achieve the 50 percent on Kingdom level,” Terium continued.

Additionally, he expressed his admiration for Saudi Arabia's proactive approach, emphasizing the nation’s action-oriented stance and applauded the Kingdom's dedication to realizing its Vision 2030 goals.

Referring to another example that reflects the Kingdom’s commitment is the Hydrogen Innovation and Development Center announced in April last year.

“We use it to train our people, we use it to do further innovation and development and we use it to make other products that need green hydrogen as an input,” Terium explained.

In March, ENOWA signed an agreement with Air Products Qudra to build, own and operate NEOM’s first hydrogen fueling station.

The project supports the giga-projects’s environmental development goals by providing a large-scale decarbonizing solution and the critical infrastructure for sustainability.

The $500 billion mega-city seeks to transform conventional living and working practices by promoting eco-friendly approaches. Terium stressed that the world requires more forms of energy beyond electricity.

“I think about 20 percent of the global energy mix is in electric energy and you might even expand that in mobility as an example or in heating and cooling but there will remain a very big portion of energy need that cannot be done through electricity,” Terium disclosed.

Meanwhile, speaking during the second day of the event, Roland Kaeppner, executive director of Hydrogen and Green Fuels at ENOWA, shed light on the present landscape of hydrogen usage.

Kaeppner emphasized how hydrogen holds a critical position in the decarbonization journey, with the potential to power vehicles, rockets, and other essential applications.

He also highlighted that approximately 100 million tons of hydrogen globally serve as a vital industrial feedstock, with the refining sector being a primary beneficiary.

“Hydrogen will be part of the solution but it's also part of the problem because of these 100 million tons they are produced from natural gas mostly which means they are emitting about one gigaton of carbon dioxide per year,” he said.

He added: “So, 1 gigaton is about roughly 3 percent of the annual industrial and energy emissions of carbon dioxide – 3 percent doesn’t really sound massive, but it is.”

Held in collaboration with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the MENA Climate Week is a conference that brings together experts and policymakers and allows the Kingdom to highlight its energy transition efforts.  

Widely touted as one of the most significant events ahead of the UN climate conference in Dubai, or COP28, this November, the event will allow officials, activists, and scientists to discuss ways to mitigate the effects of global warming.

The Riyadh-hosted event, which will take place from Oct. 8 until Oct. 12, will also offer the Kingdom a chance to show how it is leading the region’s green transition with programs like the Saudi Green Initiative and the adoption of renewables.

Saudi Arabia’s tourist expenditure hits $40bn with 10% growth, says minister 

Saudi Arabia’s tourist expenditure hits $40bn with 10% growth, says minister 
Updated 8 sec ago

Saudi Arabia’s tourist expenditure hits $40bn with 10% growth, says minister 

Saudi Arabia’s tourist expenditure hits $40bn with 10% growth, says minister 

RIYADH: Tourist expenditure in Saudi Arabia reached around SR150 billion ($40 billion), reflecting a 10 percent increase in both tourist numbers and spending compared to last year, as revealed by a top minister. 

Speaking at a press conference for the 2024 summer tourism program, the Kingdom’s Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb also said that the Kingdom will launch a tourist visa next month, aimed at attracting more international visitors and bolstering the sector’s growth. 


Egypt achieves record primary surplus of $18.14bn in fiscal year 2023/24

Egypt achieves record primary surplus of $18.14bn in fiscal year 2023/24
Updated 17 July 2024

Egypt achieves record primary surplus of $18.14bn in fiscal year 2023/24

Egypt achieves record primary surplus of $18.14bn in fiscal year 2023/24

RIYADH: Egypt’s budget recorded a preliminary surplus of 875 billion Egyptian pounds ($18.14 billion) for the fiscal year 2023/2024, compared to 164 billion during the previous period, a top official revealed.

During a Cabinet meeting chaired by Egypt’s Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, Minister of Finance Ahmed Kouchouk highlighted that this improvement came despite economic activity shocks.

The North African country’s economy has witnessed blows over the last year due to the ongoing crisis in Gaza, which has slowed tourism growth and cut into Suez Canal revenue, two of Egypt’s biggest sources of foreign currency.

To help alleviate the inflationary effects that have been burdening the Egyptian public, the government in April increased the amount of funding required in its 2024/2025 budget by over 2.8 trillion pounds ($59 billion).

Kouchouk stated that revenues represented an annual growth of about 59.3 percent during the fiscal year 2023/2024.

The budget also achieved a total deficit that was about 706 billion pounds lower than what was listed in the revised budget.

Kouchouk noted the reduction in the overall deficit in the general budget during 2023/2024, which amounted to about 505 billion Egyptian pounds, compared to a deficit of about 610 billion pounds in the previous fiscal year – a decrease of 17 percent.

Despite the deficit shrinking, there were sectors that exceeded their allocated budgets. 

Education required around 256 billion pounds in funding, compared to around 230 billion pounds in the original budget.

Health sector needs totaled about 180 billion pounds, against an initial allocation of about 148 billion pounds.

The public treasury paid the Insurance and Pensions Fund’s dues, which amounted to 185 billion pounds, and settled all fees related to food subsidy support, amounting to 133 billion pounds, compared to about 128 billion pounds in the original budget.

He noted that this, alongside increasing wages and salaries of government employees and providing adequate allocations for various support items and social protection programs, contributed to an annual expenditure growth rate of 37.4 percent.

Kouchouk emphasized the continued efforts to improve the expenditure structure, which was generally achieved for all budget chapters, pointing out that the debt service bill remains high, and efforts are underway to reduce it.

The Minister of Finance reviewed the rates and developments regarding allocations for subsidies, grants, and social benefits, especially those related to supporting industrial production, export incentives, as well as social protection programs, and the health and education sectors.

Kouchouk also discussed the future budget estimates for the fiscal year 2024/2025, explaining that the Ministry of Finance aims to reduce the budget’s debt and place it on a downward trajectory.

Despite the difficulties the public treasury faced in the fiscal year 2023/2024 as a result of regional geopolitical unrest, high rates of inflation, and social programs put in place to protect citizens and pensioners, Kouchouk reiterated that the ministry was able to achieve strong financial performance by taking the required steps to mobilize revenues and control public finances.

Closing Bell: Saudi main index closes in green at 12,157

Closing Bell: Saudi main index closes in green at 12,157
Updated 17 July 2024

Closing Bell: Saudi main index closes in green at 12,157

Closing Bell: Saudi main index closes in green at 12,157

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index rose on Wednesday, gaining 77.24 points, or 0.64 percent, to close at 12,157.61. 

The total trading turnover of the benchmark index was SR7.37 billion ($1.96 billion) as 157 of the listed stocks advanced, while 64 retreated.    

The MSCI Tadawul Index increased by 6.82 points, or 0.45 percent, to close at 1,520.39. 

The Kingdom’s parallel market Nomu decreased by 31.22 points, or 0.12 percent, to close at 25,887.91. This comes as 36 of the listed stocks advanced, while as many as 32 retreated. 

The best-performing stock of the day was AYYAN Investment Co., with its share price surging by 9.97 percent to SR19.42. 

Other top performers include the Miahona Co. and Al Sagr Cooperative Insurance Co., whose share prices soared by 9.88 percent and 9.41 percent, to stand at SR42.25 and SR24.88, respectively. 

National Gas and Industrialization Co. and Al-Baha Investment and Development Co. were also amongst the top gainers.  

The worst performer was the Mediterranean and Gulf Insurance and Reinsurance Co. whose share price dropped by 2.46 percent to SR31.70. 

Other underperformers included Baazeem Trading Co. and Arabian Pipes Co., with their share prices declining by 1.53 percent to SR64.30 and 1.20 percent to SR131.40, respectively.

Saudi Public Transport Co. and Red Sea International Co. also experienced declines in their stock prices.

Value Capital Co., serving as the financial advisor and lead manager, announced that Tharwah Co. intends to offer 705,735 ordinary shares, representing 15 percent of its total shares post-offering. The company’s shares will be listed on Nomu. 

Tharwah Co.’s application for listing on the parallel market. was approved by the Saudi Exchange on May 19, and the Capital Market Authority approved the offering on June 3. The price per share for subscribers will be determined after the book-building period. The one-week offering period is scheduled to commence on Aug. 4. 

Alkhabeer Capital, a Shariah-compliant investment and financial services firm, has announced the listing and commencement of trading for the Alkhabeer Diversified Income Fund 2030 on the Saudi Exchange. 

In an official statement, the fund reported successful participation from a diverse group of investors, including individuals and institutions, during its initial public offering.  

The IPO concluded on June 13, attracting 144,132 subscribers and raising a total of SR305.4 million. 

Saudi Cabinet approves establishment of national minerals program

Saudi Cabinet approves establishment of national minerals program
Updated 17 July 2024

Saudi Cabinet approves establishment of national minerals program

Saudi Cabinet approves establishment of national minerals program
  • Program aims to develop Kingdom’s infrastructure and support local supply chains
  • Saudi Arabia’s mineral wealth is valued at an estimated $2.5 trillion

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is set to launch a new national minerals program, further strengthening its position as a regional and global center for the mining and metals sector. 
The Saudi Cabinet has approved the establishment of the initiative, which is set to be linked to the Kingdom’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources, according to a statement. 
The newly announced program is expected to meet the growing local, regional, and global needs for minerals, build local capabilities, and contribute to exploration operations. 
This is in line with Saudi Arabia’s ambition to transform mining into a foundational industrial pillar of the country’s economy. It also aligns with the ministry’s goal to further bolster the sector and contribute to ongoing developments under Saudi Vision 2030. 
According to a ministry statement released earlier this year, the Kingdom’s mineral wealth is valued at an estimated SR9.4 trillion ($2.5 trillion). 
The Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources Bandar Alkhorayef thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the cabinet’s approval and said the program will effectively drive growth in the minerals sector and exploit the country’s mineral wealth. 
“The Council of Ministers’ decision to establish the National Minerals Program will constitute a qualitative shift in supporting supply chains in the industrial and mining sectors and strengthen the Kingdom’s position as a regional and global center for the mining and minerals sector,” Alkhorayef said in a statement. 
“The Kingdom’s directions aim to develop mineral value chains so that the mining sector becomes the third pillar of the national industry and to benefit from the Kingdom’s geographical location, which represents one of the most important major trade intersections,” he added.
The statement further revealed that the initiative will entail important functions, including ensuring the quality and adequacy of supply chains for current and future minerals and developing and managing their strategic storage.
It will also work on quantifying and following up on securing Saudi Arabia’s mineral needs, developing plans and strategies, and providing industrial supplies of mining raw materials.
The nation’s mining sector has been expanding locally and internationally, with significant strides being made.
In March, the Kingdom’s mining sector recorded a 138 percent increase in the issuance of exploitation licenses since the new Mining Investment Law was implemented in 2021. 
The number of permits recorded rose from eight in 2021 to 19 last year as the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources actively works to boost mineral production and investment. 

Saudi weekly POS spending hits $3bn, driven by hotel sector surge

Saudi weekly POS spending hits $3bn, driven by hotel sector surge
Updated 17 July 2024

Saudi weekly POS spending hits $3bn, driven by hotel sector surge

Saudi weekly POS spending hits $3bn, driven by hotel sector surge
  • Payments in restaurants and cafe held the largest share of POS transactions

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale spending totaled SR11.9 billion ($3.19 billion) from July 7 to 13, driven by a 3.8 percent weekly surge in hotel sector transactions, official data showed.

The latest data from the Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA, revealed that the hospitality industry showed the only increase during the week, with total transaction values reaching SR269.6 million. 

Point-of-sale is where transactions between merchants and customers take place, using systems like cash registers or digital terminals to manage sales and payments. 

Saudi Arabia’s apex bank releases weekly POS data to provide insights into consumer spending patterns, economic activity, and trends in various sectors such as retail, hospitality, and services. 

During the seven-day period starting July 7, POS transactions in the Kingdom declined by 9.8 percent, reversing from an increase in the previous week, to reach SR13.2 billion.  

Data from SAMA indicated that payments in restaurants and cafes decreased by 6.4 percent compared to the previous week, totaling SR1.84 billion, while still holding the largest share of POS transactions. 

Expenses on food and beverages dipped by 12.5 percent to reach SR1.79 billion, the third-largest fall compared to the previous week.  

Miscellaneous goods and services came in third place in spending size, recording an 11.2 percent dip, reaching SR1.57 billion. 

Gas stations witnessed the smallest dip this week, recording a 3.2 percent decrease, reaching SR841.4 million.  

Construction and building materials experienced the second-smallest drop in POS transaction value, diminished by 4.7 percent to SR329.7 million. Furthermore, expenses on transportation witnessed the third-smallest surge, with a 5.6 percent decrease, reaching SR733.1 million. 

According to data from SAMA, 33.37 percent of POS deals occurred in Riyadh, with the total transaction value reaching SR3.91 billion, representing an 8.3 percent decline from the previous week when it was SR4.26 billion. 

Riyadh has expanded into a major growth hub, with Spinneys recently debuting its flagship 43,520 sq. ft. outlet at La Strada Yard, marking the start of its expansion in the capital and Jeddah to meet the increasing demand for high-quality groceries in Saudi Arabia.  

In Jeddah, purchases accounted for 14.6 percent of the total, amounting to SR1.71 billion, reflecting an 8 percent weekly decrease, the third-largest decline compared to the previous week.  

Expenditures in Abha and Makkah declined by 4.8 percent and 4.2 percent, reaching SR224.2 million and SR459.5 million, respectively. 

The highest fall was spotted in Tabouk with a 12.8 percent weekly change, reaching SR216.2 million.